BERLIN German women gave birth last year at the highest rate since the country’s reunification in 1990 with 1.47 births per woman, the Federal Statistics Office said on Wednesday.
It is the third consecutive increase of the country’s birth rate, which in 1990 was at 1.45 and reached its lowest point in 1995 with 1.25 births per woman.
The statistic’s office said women were also giving birth later. While on avaerage women were 24.8 years old at the birth of their first child in 1990, they were 29.5 years old on average in 2014.
Birth rates differ between Germany’s eastern and western states even 25 years after reunification, with women in the eastern part of the country giving birth to more children.
Europe’s biggest economy struggles with an aging population in a country where deaths outstrip births since 1972 and no other country in the world has experienced such a constant birth deficit since 1945.
Berlin estimates that its working age population will shrink by 6 million people by 2030 and generous pro-family policies by successive governments were aiming to reverse the trend.
Some experts also see a possible boost in birth rates and a reduction of average population age by means of the recent migrant influx. Germany expects the arrival of one million asylum seekers this year, the majority of which are under 25 years old.
(Reporting by Tina Bellon Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)